Postgame Quotes

March 13, 2014

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Kansas State Head Coach Bruce Weber
Opening statement...
"I guess an entertaining game.  I'm not sure we guarded as well    I know we didn't guard as well as we needed to.  I asked the guys to just compete and play. We've been on Shane to step up and be a player.  I thought he was.  A couple of tough possessions down the stretch, and they made the plays and we didn't. And you know, shot 54 percent, scored 85 points and you still can't win.  Nigel was good off the bench.  I thought our whole bench did a nice job again, not only Nigel, his career high, but Omari got in the first half, gave us a nice spark.  D.J.'s limping a little bit, but he gives us solid minutes.  We needed Marcus probably to stay out of foul trouble and it didn't happen.  And they had foul trouble on their own. You have to give them, they're good.  All three games are the same, came down to the last couple of minutes, tie score.  They made the plays and today they stepped up and made some shots to give them a victory."

At the end of the game when Shane got that ball, headed a little out of control there, what can a coach do there?  Theoretically, I guess you call a time out, but it was so quick what was the thought process there?
"Well, I think you -- he actually had Nigel wide open and that's what I was seeing and hoping -- we had a couple of tough possessions down the stretch.  Wes went and tried to do something he shouldn't have.  Shane actually had a wild one that went in and then he had one in a half court possession that wasn't very good.  And we needed to be solid and take care of the basketball. We were so good when we moved the ball and got passing and cutting, and one of our better efforts for that.  And you're sitting there watching and you're like the first thing coming in my mind is call timeout, but he also has kind of a little bit of a break and advantage, and just he had a great game, just didn't make the right read down the stretch.  But he gave us a lot of plays that allowed us to be there at the end."

Your squad's known for being able to control the pace.  Why didn't that work today and how were you able to score 85 despite the pace?
"We were pretty efficient on offense and we scored 85 and 80 against them.  We just didn't get enough stops.  The big thing, the big stat is their points in the paint.  I think Fred deceives you and they made 8 for 18 from 3. But if you really study their stats, they haven't shot it that well over the course of time.  But they always get a lot of points in the paint and they also get to the free throw line.  And we just didn't defend like we needed to, and they had us spread out and some of it they made some 3s.  They got too many easy layups. We finally took some charges in the second half to give us a chance, but they -- Niang and Ejim pretty much had their way.  And Naz Long made the big 3 when we had scored a bucket, and then we went and helped, they kicked it out, and that was a big 3 for them.  But the rebounding, points in the paint, we just didn't do a good enough job. And on the other end, though, we scored and we were pretty, obviously pretty efficient.  You shoot 54 percent, 47 from 3, and 73 from the line and don't win, you know, it's pretty disappointing."

What are the places that you've seen growth in your team, in your program from the beginning of the season until now as you head into the tournament?
"I think if you saw some of our early games, I'm not sure you thought we could compete with anybody.  And our guys came together.  Our seniors accepted their roles and instead of trying to be superstars, they've just been very solid players and had real nice moments along the way, all of them. And then our freshmen just slowly but surely grew up.  From the beginning to get Gipson back and get him going, and the conference is tough, and it's not very forgiving.  And I hope it prepares us for the NCAA tournament.  Obviously it still comes down to matchups and playing good basketball down the stretch. But we've made a lot of progress.  And we've had four freshmen play quite a few minutes, and I don't know if anybody else in the league can say that.  So you feel good.  I feel good about next week.  I feel good about the future of the program."

How tough is it to go into the tournament on a little bit of a slide in terms of losses here, but also coming off a pretty well played game today?
"I hope it's a motivator.  And like I just told our coaches, we just lost to one of the best offensive teams in the country, played them until the end. We played a lot people don't appreciate    I don't think nationwide people appreciate how good our league is.  And I thought it was a little disrespectful, the polls.  We just keep beating each other, and other teams.  You know, Iowa lost six out of seven and stayed in the polls.  It didn't make a lot of sense to me.  But the only way you can back it up is go in the tournament and do something.  So I feel good about our group.  I feel good about the league.  It was very competitive.  And I hope this is a motivator, to lose some games down the stretch, but also a motivator to know that we can play with anybody in the country, because we've done it."

What Dustin Hogue did for them because you had Niang in foul trouble, Kane in foul trouble, they were both on the bench at the same time, which usually is not a good indicator for Iowa State?
"He made three in the beginning, which you don't expect him to probably make it.  I'm not sure if it went under the rim and around.  And then he hit two really tough shots in the stretch run.  And his rebounding is    he averaged 12 rebounds against us the first two.  He's great at that.  Him and Ejim have just pumped us on the boards.  But he played a special game.  Now we probably    we match it somewhat with Nigel Johnson stepping up and playing special for us. But they end up with five guys in double digits.  We only end up with four.  And that's probably the difference in the game."

You referred a couple times to the quality of the league, but I'm just wondering how this league prepared you, is going to prepare you for starting next week.  Seems like you're playing an NCAA tournament team two out of every three games?
"Probably three out of four games, looks like, right?  And then somebody could be an NIT team.  So even Texas Tech, if Tubby gets there a little earlier and has a little better, a little more time with them, they were as competitive as anybody down the stretch. So we've faced a lot of different styles.  We've faced the size of Kansas and Texas, the free wheeling offense of Oklahoma and Iowa State, and the toughness of a Texas Tech, West Virginia.  So we played a lot of different teams.  We've had a lot of close games.  We've won some and we've lost some.  And I hope that our guys get their mindset right.  And we know we played with the best in the country, and we can go and beat anybody. But now we've gotta prove it.  And I told them my big theme this week was compete today.  And I told them before, you know, we'll still have one more game, but after that you've got to compete today or there's no tomorrow.  And I hope they'll step it up and we'll have a good showing in the tournament and our whole league does."

Senior Guard Shane Southwell
Take me through what you saw on that last possession when it was a two point game and you lost the ball?
"I believe Omari got the rebound and he outlet it to me.  And I had total tunnel vision.  I'm thinking down 2, get to the basket, get a layup or get fouled.  I only saw Niang and a couple people trailing back for Iowa State.  In my mind I'm thinking get to the basket.  He don't really want to foul, he has four fouls. So then at the last minute, I heard Nigel yell my name, and then I looked and tried to pass it to him when I brought it around and I lost the ball.  But I just had tunnel vision.  So I had predetermined thoughts, so it wasn't going to work out.  If I would have just been a little bit more patient, it probably would have worked out.  Nigel would have had an open shot, and the way he was going, I have a lot of confidence in him and I think he would have made that shot."

How big was Nigel Johnson coming off the bench and giving you guys a spark?
"It was big.  We pride ourselves on our bench play and next man up.  So he really played well.  He's a really talented player.  We just need some glimpses of that every day or every game and even in practice. But like I said, he's a really talented player, and I'm really proud of him.  And we appreciate the performance he had today.  But we just gotta go out there and defend and get a couple more stops and we would have been even happier.

Do you feel this game got you going again a little bit because you did play pretty well?
"I really don't. I'm not really concerned with that.  I'm concerned with the loss and how we can, how I can play better or how we can play better as a team.  I always think of what I can do better.  So I'm not content or really worried about that. I made a couple of shots, but still it came from me defending and getting those two rebounds early, which got me into a flow.  So I really have to just go out there, do the little things early.  And my shots were falling, good things were happening when you do the little things."

How soon do you put this ballgame behind you before you start thinking about where you might go?  I mean, Selection Sunday is about 72 hours away, so you've got a lot of time.  It might seem that way anyway.
"You learn -- we're going to watch film.  We're going to learn from the mistakes we had today.  But we pretty much got to put it behind us and learn from it and go out the next three days until Sunday, get some rest, but also put up a lot of shots and stay together as a team and know that this season is not over.  We still have a lot of games left and we have a lot of fight left and we've gotta go out there keep the mindset for the next couple of days until we see where we're going, what type of seed we're at and who we're playing."

Junior Forward Thomas Gipson
How tough was their rebounding today especially on the offensive glass?
"They're very good on the rebounds.  I think the main thing when we have rotations, when we have to do rotation help, Hogue and Ejim, they get free lanes to the basket and easy put backs.  So they pass it out to get wide open 3s.  But, I mean, they're good on the boards.  We can't hold them on that.  We just had to be tougher."

How soon do you put this ballgame behind you before you start thinking about where you might go?  I mean, Selection Sunday is about 72 hours away, so you've got a lot of time.  It might seem that way anyway.
"Shane pretty much said it.  I felt we put it behind us right away.  I feel like we'll be fine.  It's just a tough loss.  We can deal with it, though.  Shane pretty much said it all."

Iowa State Head Coach Fred Hoiberg
Opening statement...
"Couldn't be more proud of these guys for how we handled some pretty tough situations out there.  Had a couple of guys, key guys, get in foul trouble with four, with about eight or nine to go.  And we decided to gamble, put DeAndre back in there, felt we needed one of our playmakers in the game.  I thought he made some really good plays, helped keep us in it and put Georges back in at the last media.  Went in and made some great plays. Just talking about these three here, I thought Melvin, all night long, was unbelievable.  And in that basket he made driving to the basket to keep our lead, I thought, was as big a basket as we had all game. Dustin Hogue, I thought, did everything today.  He's always been a guy that's done the dirty work for this team, all throughout the year.  He doesn't get the credit he deserves today, not only on the defensive end and rebounding, which he always does, but made some huge plays for us on offense.  So a big win.  Had our backs against the wall on a couple of occasions, fought through adversity and found a way to get a big win."

Monte, ten assists, one turnover with the DeAndre out for a good stretch of the second half how important was he today?
"I thought he was great.  He always does the right thing defensively, got some key deflections.  We were having trouble getting stops unless we got a turnover and I thought he did a really good job of staying tight with Spradling.  It's not an easy matchup.  He moves so much and Monte, I thought, did a great job chasing him all over the floor.  And ten assists and one turnover, it's hard when you have an 8 to 1 assist to turnover ratio to increase that in a game.  But to go out there and do that as a freshman in his first Big 12 tournament tells you all you need to know about that kid.  He loves the big stage.  He won back to back state championships in Michigan.  He came out and played as poised a game as I think you can have as a freshman."

Were you surprised how well K-State kept coming at you?  Because it seemed like the tempo was in your favor all night.
"We wanted to really get it going.  They do such a good job slowing you down, making you start your offense further out on the floor. If you would have told me they would score 85, I would have told you we're going to have trouble winning a game because they're so good and sound defensively.  They really pack that thing in off the corners.  But I thought our guys made big plays. You look at what Georges did at the end, those last couple of minutes he was in there, we gave the ball to him and he just went out there made unbelievable basketball plays. I was a little worried when that one that Foster made stuck in the back of the rim and went in.  You almost think, well, maybe it's not our day to get this one. But I give Bruce a lot of credit.  That's an excellent basketball team.  They've got a lot of weapons out there, both inside and out.  And I think they have a chance to go on a nice run in the NCAA Tournament."

Junior Forward Dustin Hogue
There was a three  to four  to five minute stretch when Georges had four fouls and DeAndre had four fouls.  They needed you offensively in the ways coach talked about.  How do you approach those minutes when those guys were on the bench?
"Normally in a game, we have to be playmakers, so I just played my role most of the time, you know, trying to rebound and defend.  But with a couple of our key guys out, I decided to try to be more aggressive because we didn't have the playmakers usually in the game and I started hitting some shots."

It was mentioned on the K-State Radio Broadcast that when you two played each other during the regular season, it had been tied late in the ballgame both times and today you had the same thing.  Why do you feel like these two teams match up so well whenever they face each other?
"I just think that we were just being aggressive.  They're a really good team.  They go kind of small with their guards, their four man stretch on the floor, so they kind of match us real well.  I think in the long run we just made key stops and we was able to hit shots down the stretch."

Sophomore Forwarad Georges Niang
It was mentioned on the K-State Radio Broadcast that when you two played each other during the regular season, it had been tied late in the ballgame both times and today you had the same thing.  Why do you feel like these two teams match up so well whenever they face each other?
"I think K-State does a great job of pressuring and playing defense, and whenever you play a team like that, it's hard to get going against them.  So credit to us when we were tied up.  I felt like Coach put in some plays that really helped us expose the way they pack in their defense.  So that helped us and led us to the win."

You said this was going to be a bar fight and it was probably more beautiful basketball than that.  What was it like out there just with the intensity of every possession?
"It was real physical.  I mean, every team is trying to outwill their team to win.  So people are playing extremely hard and at a high level.  Credit to them, they played extremely hard and they played extremely well.  We just executed better down the stretch and I just felt like that was key to the game."

Senior Forward Melvin Ejim
It was mentioned on the K-State Radio Broadcast that when you two played each other during the regular season, it had been tied late in the ballgame both times and today you had the same thing.  Why do you feel like these two teams match up so well whenever they face each other?
"Just to piggyback off what they said, they match up really well with us.  They play a smaller four and it's always up and down, high paced game.  I think that's the reason why it's always a close game to the end and it comes down to who can make shots and stops.  And they're a great team, played defense really hard and matched up really well with us."